Monday, August 30, 2010


I had my one and only baby shower for Hunter yesterday at church. Our church gives baby showers no matter what number baby you are on, which some people think is crazy but I think is really nice, especially if you have several years between babies, or they are different genders. I have nothing against buying someone I am friends with a second or fourth baby present. I did tell them I didn't need anything but they weren't having it.

I was really happy that mom was able to come with me to partake in the festivities and take notes of who got what for when I send out thank-you cards. Everyone made delicious food and we got some really great stuff! I was amazed at some of the really cute clothes we got - I seriously have always thought cute boy clothes are much harder to find than cute boy clothes. That still may be true but at least now I have a good pile of cute boy clothes.

Lots of people got me diapers, baby wipes, nursing supplies and gift cards which are the main things I knew I would need! Anyway, it was fun and it really wasn't as bad as I remembered - sitting up there in front of everyone being the center of attention. It was very laid back. Plus, at one point Brianna spotted mom and ran to her from the back of the church, so for several minutes people were focused on her instead of me. That's always nice, as long as they're focused on her for being cute and not throwing a fit!!

Saturday was a really busy day. Although normally on the weekends Stephen tends to take over with Brianna while I do whatever I didn't get done during the week, this weekend was the first he'd had off in August that we'd been home. So he had a lot to catch up on too, namely painting Hunter's room. It is definitely Carolina blue and don't let him tell you anything different! It looks really good and he's worked on it in his spare time all week. So I kept tabs on Bri in the morning while he painted and rearranged the room. In exchange, he watched Bri in the afternoon while I went to my friend Lora's house for a jewelry show and much needed adult conversation! That evening we went to Olive Garden as a treat with Steve and Kathy. Unfortunately, Stephen didn't have much luck getting Bri to nap that afternoon so she wasn't in the best mood ever. She was definitely happiest running from Olive Garden to Steinmart and back, greeting people with her loud "HEY!!" and when they drove away, she would wave and say, "Buh-bye!" Olive Garden turned out to be extremely busy - so busy that we made plans to meet at 6:00 and at 8:00 we had to tell our waiter just to box up our uneaten meals that had just come out so we could take them home. Bri ended up eating half my meal when we got home, which was a crab-stuffed pasta with diced tomatoes and shrimp, so bad news for her daddy - she has expensive taste!! I was glad she liked something that was kind of a not normal food. She's so good about trying new things!
Friday was a busy day because I had several errands I was supposed to run. I had a Fed By Faith delivery and dad was so kind to offer to go with me to deliver! Everyone was joking that they didn't want me to lift so much that I went into labor in Candor. :) Don't worry, I didn't lift too much, plus the parents we were donating to also helped unload things. We got back to mom and dad's (mom babysat Bri while dad and I were in Candor) much earlier than expected, so I decided to hang out there until our mystery shop that afternoon. Unexpectedly, Granny and Granddaddy stopped by!! They performed for Bri, or she performed for them, I'm not sure which, but we definitely had a great time seeing them! After they left, mom and dad accompanied me and Brianna to Panera Bread for lunch. Yum! The rest of the afternoon was spent doing the usual everyday chores, errands, playing, etc!
Thursday was another busy day because I had a mystery shop in Seven Lakes and then I had to go load the truck for the delivery we were making on Friday. I was a bit nervous about loading the truck while trying to watch Bri, because I'd never done that. I didn't want to call mom and dad to watch her because although they say they are always happy to watch her (and I know they truly are) I don't want to abuse that either. There may come a day when I need them much more than I do right now!! Now that Brianna's following directions it was much easier to keep an eye on her. I could carry a load to the truck and she would toddle along behind me, and then come right back inside with me to get another load. When there were only a couple of loads left, I have to admit, I had to coax her to quit fussing (she wanted me to carry her instead of the boxes) by giving her chocolate Teddy Grahams. This is something our preacher has started her on - see, he bribes children to like him :) Now whenever she sees him she runs straight to him with her arms outstretched. Everyone "Awwww!"'s when she does it but she always immediately points to the kitchen. Haha! She is using him. Anyway, the loading of the truck went much better than expected. Bri can be really good when she tries. :)
Over the summer, Leila offered to watch Brianna over our anniversary weekend so that we could have a weekend away to ourselves. Great idea, but only one small problem - at this point in the pregnancy you are supposed to stay within two hours of your doctor/hospital. Well, do you know how hard it is to find something of interest within two hours of here!?!? With a little help from friends, Facebook, and Google Maps, we think we have decided on Huntersville which is near Lake Norman. There is a Country Inn & Suites there (I am addicted to this chain of hotels!!), it's near Charlotte, it's semi-close to Old Salem which we've heard lots about (and I just discovered our friend Sally can get us tickets for some of the places around there!), and it's about 10 minutes from a bluegrass concert Saturday night which will make Stephen very happy. It's free, which makes me very happy. Plus, if I do go into labor (uh, doubtful) I will just call Lib! I'm sure she'd be happy to be my midwife!

So I think that is pretty much everything from the last few days. Something is always going on around here even if it isn't breaking news. Today involves post office runs, maybe a Fifi's run, figuring out my recipes for the week, possible grocery store, lots of book reading and playing with Bri, and who knows what else!? Every day is something new.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Healthy is in the Eye of the Beholder

I was/am/am attempting??? to be one of those moms who does not encourage her children to eat fast food or junk food. As Bri has gotten older I have gotten much more slack in what she can eat, but the basic rule of thumb is still - should she have a pound of cookies or a pound of grapes? Uh, duh.

Alas, I am that mom who today found herself in a booth at McDonalds with her 16-month old, feeding her french fries and smiling as she laughed, stuffing them down her throat. There were several factors involved here.

  1. Brianna ate a small breakfast compared to usual (2 yogurts, a couple of small bowls of Apple Jacks and milk) so by lunchtime she was pretty hungry probably.
  2. I left her diaper bag at church last night and was going to get it today after lunch. It had a bunch of snacks in there.
  3. I had a mystery shop to do and couldn't think of a valid reason to get anyone to babysit when I knew she'd do fine.
  4. I figured french fries aren't the worst thing she's ever going to eat.
  5. French fries are made from potatoes, after all.
I have to admit that every time someone walked past our table I felt like shoving Bri underneath it. No, it didn't make me feel better that there were several other families in there with children Brianna's age who were eating entire Happy Meals.

Oh well, like I said, not an optimal diet but at least it's a rare one. I do think she'll survive.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Here's a few pictures to get off my camera:

Who needs a recliner when you have a daddy?

Here Brianna teaches how to feed oneself: (check out the video at the end of this blog as well)

I must taste the book before I read it:

Somehow I don't have this book memorized yet, but I'm sure I will soon!

Combining two of Bri's favorite pastimes - one is pulling out all the diapers she can find all over the house, the other is having things placed on her head (or someone else's head): (Don't even ask if this is a clean diaper - of COURSE it is, people!!)

Here is a video of Bri feeding herself. She's very dainty. I had to stop recording so I could hold "Baby" while Bri mushed banana in her mouth...

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Hectic Life

Man, things have just been nonstop around here lately. For some reason even though our calendar doesn't have a lot of stuff on it, the days fill up very quickly, as well as the days, and suddenly our week is overwhelming! This has been happening quite a lot lately and it almost makes me look forward to October, when Hunter is here and I can just eat, sleep, and play with him, Bri and Stephen, and have no other responsibilities for a while. People will expect me to nap at random hours and want to hang out at home, and they won't expect me to come in to work or do other tasks that I probably should say no to but can't.

Monday night (the 9th) was actually a night off. Instead of having our monthly ladies group meeting we all met at Olive Garden for dinner. There were 30 or so of us there so it was pretty rowdy. I sat with several ladies who are newish to the church and I had so much fun. I love these nights once a month because you get to make the rounds of who you hang out with and really get to know new people. Stephen watched Brianna so I didn't feel rushed to get home or feel guilty about staying gone for over three hours.

Tuesday night we had plans to go to mom and dad's. They wanted to cook for us for Stephen's birthday. Looking back we probably should have postponed this dinner, because we ended up not seeing them for very long it seemed like! We wanted to make an appearance at the funeral home for Tim which was all the way in Star. We ate with mom and dad and then left Bri with them while we drove to the big city of Star. It's a 30-minute ride from mom and dad's, and then even though our friends Brian and Rebecca let us cut in line we still didn't leave from there until about 9:00 or a little after. By the time we got back to the house, we really didn't even have time to have birthday cake. They took a slab and we took the rest home to eat later.

Wednesday mom and dad kept Bri again while I went to Tim's funeral in the morning. I went back to their house for lunch, and then did the usual work/grocery shopping that I do on Wednesdays. Then I ran home just in time to leave for youth group. I had to teach that night so I wanted to go over my lesson one more time. By the time we got home from church I was exhausted, needless to say.

Thursday I wanted to go to work but Stephen had a dentist appointment, so instead I did some more grocery shopping and shopping for Fed By Faith - one of my favorite pastimes! That night my friend Allison was having a jewelry show at another friend's house, and I wanted to go support her. Stephen dropped me off and he and Brianna went to Betty's house to see Stephen's family. That was another great night because I felt for a couple of hours that I could just relax!! There were lots of women there I didn't know and several I did know but it was nice just to get together. I can't really afford any of that jewelry but it's always fun to look anyway! By the time we got home from that it was very late so we just put Bri to bed and then I crashed after finishing my chores up.

Friday Brianna and I went to Jenn's house to start organizing for the yard sale we were having on Saturday. It was harder than last time because Claire and Brianna wanted to explore everything! A couple of hours into our undertaking, dad came over to drop some tables off and he insisted on taking Bri back to their house to surprise mom. I felt guilty for having them watch her yet again but I knew we could get so much more done if she wasn't wandering around. Plus, Claire was about to go down for a nap. Jenn and I were able to finish up all we were going to do for the day, and then I ran to the bank to get a bunch of cash for change for the yard sale. When I got to mom and dad's to pick Brianna up I got to see her in their pool! They are always talking about pool time but since it happens while I am at work I never get to be a witness to it. She was having a ball and honestly, mom and dad were too. She loves that pool time. I'm not sure what will be the replacement for that in the winter... bath time? :) She loves bath time too so that might be just as good. Haha! Anyway, I ended up calling Stephen and asking him to pick her up from mom and dad's so I could go to work again. Luckily he was getting off on time for the first time in forever and he graciously picked her up! I came home from work at 6:00 to find both of them fast asleep. I know he has been exhausted - working 20 days in a row this month and overtime many nights, and then the past week has been crazy with stuff to do every single night. He's been living on a few hours of sleep and no nap time. At least I can take a nap if I really have to, but he's also working in this heat every day which I'm sure doesn't help. Anyway, once I got home from work I really wanted to run to the store, so we went out there and I told Stephen to go pick out any steaks he wanted while Brianna and I did a Super Double coupon trip. He came back with almost two pounds of filet mignon. When he splurges, he really splurges!! When we got home it was already time to bathe Bri and get her to bed, and then once again, after we finished a quick dinner and chores it was bedtime for us too.

Saturday morning I was up at 6:25am. That is uncalled for. But I had to shower and chug a cup of coffee before leaving to set up the yard sale at Jenn's. Brianna usually sleeps until 9ish so mom and dad graciously offered to get to our house at 7am so that she could continue sleeping while I left. Our yard sale started at 8am but when I called Jenn at 7:10 to tell her I was on the way she informed me there were already three cars out front. She was trying to feed herself and Claire breakfast, plus we didn't have anything set out yet - what are people thinking?!?! I love yard sales as much as the next person but I try to be respectful and not show up an hour early!! These must be people who can't sleep in. I don't know anything about that.

Our yard sale lasted until a little after noon. I'm not sure how much Jenn made, I made somewhere between $40-50 which isn't too bad but the important thing is all that stuff is GONE! I brought home three big items (a ferret cage and two terrariums) and then five small items but all the rest that didn't sell was donated to a local organization. I did not want to bring any of that crap home.

When I got home, mom and dad were still standing. It sounded like they had had a great morning but I knew Bri was probably ready for a nap. I KNEW knew that I was!! I laid her down and then I laid down as well. A mere hour later she was ready to go! Me - not so much. But, what are ya gonna do?

Saturday night Stephen cooked two of our filets and they were sooooo good. This was our first night at home that we were actually relaxing... not rushing to do anything... could just sit and talk, and eat, watch TV if we felt like it, go to bed early (which means 10:30 lately)... it was just nice.

Sunday morning I had asked to sing a song but I didn't know until I walked into church that I was "approved". The guy who handles all that and I didn't have very good communication during the week. Fortunately I had brought my CD and sang Barlowgirl's "I Need You to Love Me" which was a request from a friend. Unfortunately I forgot my lyrics. Fortunately I know that song by heart. It worked out. After church Brianna and I were invited to mom and dad's for lunch since Stephen was working and mom was making her famous meatloaf. I have never eaten meatloaf except for mom's. There is something about meatloaf that just doesn't look or sound appealing to me in restaurants, cookbooks, or other people's houses. (If you invite me to dinner and make meatloaf I would eat it though. :) ) But mom's is just the BEST! Unfortunately Brianna wouldn't try it. She wanted some comfort foods like bananas and cucumbers but that's okay. I will get her to eat meatloaf one day and then I will have an excuse to make it at home! When we got home Brianna fell asleep and I got together my coupons. Later I made a shopping trip for a friend at church, and when Stephen got home around 6pm we were ready to go to church. Just a little late for choir practice (it starts at 5:30). He was supposed to be home at 5:00 but he's never on time anymore. Cindy asked if his promotion was actually a demotion and I said it kind of feels like that sometimes! I can't complain though - he doesn't, so I can't.

Okay now I feel like I have wasted time by writing this blog. It took me 30 minutes to write this - 30 minutes that Bri has been playing quietly in her crib (not napping) but now I hear this thumping from upstairs which means she is doing one of her favorite things which is either kicking the crib rails or banging one of her baby dolls against the rails. If it's a baby doll and it lands on the floor she will have a spaz attack because she won't be able to reach it to play with it anymore. I better go now so I can get some chores done while she's not underneath my feet!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

No Good Title

We got to church last night and found out that a friend from church committed suicide Saturday night. I heard it first from Cindy, and then our preacher announced it during the time for prayer requests. Our choir director immediately made the decision to change the song we were supposed to sing that night from one we know up and down, left and right, to one we've just started practicing, "Praise You in the Storm" by Casting Crowns which many of you probably know. It was a little rough around the edges but at least the point came across.

Our preacher Tony's son Drew sang a song that he had written called "Daddy". It is all about how no matter what your relationship is with your father on earth you have the opportunity to have a relationship with a Father in heaven who won't do you wrong, won't abandon you, will truly love you unconditionally. After he sang it he practically knocked down Tony hugging him and they both started crying which totally broke down the entire congregation. For me, that's when it really hit me. That now there are two boys with no dad at home. A wife is sleeping alone. That this man, who would without fail always offer you a smile and tell you things are going great, was really falling apart and none of us even knew it.

Tony said he remembered hearing Drew practicing that song in his room when he first wrote it and jokingly said, "What in the world have I done to make him write this song?" The lyrics are mostly about abandonment. Then he realized Drew probably knows how much Tony was affected by his father leaving him when he was little, and the fact that Drew's uncle committed suicide only about 18 months ago, leaving behind a teenage daughter. And Drew himself said he knows too many people whose fathers are not good examples of what fathers should be.

Tony preaches out of Galatians (we're going book by book through the Bible) on Sunday nights. After staring at his open Bible for a minute he said, "I don't even feel like preaching out of Galatians." Instead we turned to 1 Peter. He talked about how we are supposed to be vigilant every day of our lives. That if we knew someone was stalking us and watching our house that we would immediately be on guard. We'd get a big dog. We'd install a security system. We'd call the police. And yet every day the devil is stalking us and we just act like we are big enough to resist temptation, like the grips of things in this world can't grab hold of us. And it's just not true.

I don't know everything that Tim was going through. I know that Tony had been counseling him for a long time and now he feels responsible, like he could have prevented it. Like he should have thought of an extreme measure to take so this wouldn't have happened. In the end, you and you alone are responsible for your actions, but I know a lot of people last night were thinking, "What could I have done for him?" I even asked myself that question but the truth is, I only know to help the people that ask me for help. I can't read minds, as much as I'd like to sometimes. I know now that this family had extreme financial burdens and yet they were donating items to Fed By Faith because, as the wife said, they had been helped in the past and wanted to give back to others. They were being selfless in a financial crisis and I had no clue. For pete's sake, we could have adopted them one month and relieved them of a little pressure!

It's so true that suicide is the most selfish act you can do. Everyone who is left behind takes a little bit of the responsibility and guilt for that act. Everyone is left wondering what more they could have done. This will always be a huge question mark and a hole in the wife and kids' lives. I remember feeling like this after Jan's brother committed suicide, but I know with him I truly couldn't have done much more.

I feel like I need to open my eyes and pay more attention to the people around me. To the people I call family and "family". But at the same time, how do you know when a person's "I'm fine" doesn't really mean "I'm fine"? Unless you know them really well.

Situations like this just suck.

After the service we stood in a circle around the church holding hands and praying. We literally were "circling our wagons" for this family and for protection around our church. It feels so good to be a part of that.

Sorry this post is all over the place. My thoughts are very scattered.

Friday, August 6, 2010

These are three of Brianna's favorite animals - they are in almost every book in the universe so she knows them well - bird, dog and cat. The other ones she knows really well are cow, horse, bear, duck, and owl. She will "oooh oooh" when she sees a train and "ooooom" (vroom) when she sees a car. I just thought I should make a note since I don't have a baby book or journal for her or anything... I think there are lots of other things she says but I can't think of them on the spot, except "hey!" (which is always exclaimed), "buh bye!", "baby", "book", "Boo!", "hot", when you give her a baby doll she will pat it and say "awwwww" or she'll lay down on the floor with it and snore. Or she'll lay it down and put her finger to her lips and say "shhh!" If she wants you to feed the baby doll she will point to it and smack her lips loudly. Ummm, that's all I can think of in this amount of time but it will have to do for now!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Doctor's Appointment

First of all - VICTORY! I just sat down to write this blog and I am munching on salt & vinegar chips (oh my word, I love these and I never get to have them!!). Of course, as usual Brianna wants whatever I am eating. I gave her a nibble of a chip - she wanted more! That's my girl!! Stephen hates these chips and doesn't allow me to eat them on road trips because of the smell. It's devastating.

Today was my 30-week doctor's appointment. Thank goodness for doctor's appointments or I'd never know how far along I am. I'm sorry, Hunter, you definitely have Second Child Syndrome already.

Oh yeah... we've decided on a name. We're going with Hunter Grayson. Just to officially announce it!

Back to my appointment. I actually did not gain any weight since my last appointment four weeks ago. This amazes me considering I know how much I eat throughout the day. But now that I think about it - I danced with 100 kids at VBS for 2 1/2 hours every night one week in July. I chase a 15-month old around for hours during the day (literally - she loves being chased with baby dolls, vacuum cleaners, pillows, books, pretty much ANYTHING!). I worked several hours last week at Fed By Faith, moving boxes, donating items, making deliveries... I guess between all that my food consumption and "exercise" balanced for once. I am measuring small (27 inches) for how many weeks I am but they said it's just because I am "petite" most likely. Actually, when I was pregnant with Brianna I never had a doctor tell me how much I was measuring. I saw a nurse practitioner today to give her some extra practice and she took much more time with me than a doctor usually does. Dr. B, who delivered Brianna, asked me if it was okay with me if I saw this woman rather than him since my pregnancy is straightforward and uneventful. I certainly didn't care, I knew I didn't have any questions or problems, so I didn't care who I saw. Anyway, point being, if I had seen Dr. B. I'm sure he wouldn't have even told me my measurements.

Strangely enough, even though I am measuring small, I have still had multiple people jokingly (?) ask if I'm sure it's not twins. Keep in mind that is not really something that is funny when you're pregnant and feeling like a whale! I'm not even sure how much weight I have gained during this pregnancy. I didn't know my weight before I got pregnant and then when I was just a few weeks along - 7 I think - I got the Norovirus and dropped down to 100 pounds. It reminded me of how I felt after I had my tonsils out and I lost weight from not being able to eat solid foods. I don't know how people can skip meals and cut calories to lose weight. If I were that weight all the time I would be so tired and weak I couldn't get anything done!!

Anyway. I am officially into appointments every two weeks, and then once I am 36 weeks they will be once a week. This pregnancy is going so fast! My next appointment is an ultrasound, probably our last one, just to check the position and fluid of the baby.

When I was pregnant with Bri I would do these pregnancy surveys. I am going to do one now for Hunter because I feel so guilty about not paying him any attention until he kicks my bladder or rib! I really should take a stomach picture soon. I took one at 9 weeks or something and haven't since then. I am awful!!!

How far along? 30 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: I think somewhere around +10 pounds but not sure
Maternity clothes? I actually do have a couple of maternity tank tops I got from a yard sale. I've only worn each once though. I bought a maternity skirt too (only $3) but haven't worn it yet.
Stretch marks? none
Sleep: I get more sleep than before I had Brianna! She is pretty constant in sleeping 12 hours so I can usually squeeze in at least 9-10 hours if I go to bed when I should! I have a tendency to stay up very late reading but that's my own fault.
Best moment this week: Realizing I'm almost at single-digit weeks left!
Food cravings: nothing
Gender: boy
Labor Signs: none
Belly Button in or out? still in for now but definitely flat!
Wedding rings on or off? on
What I miss: I have missed everything with our youth group this summer! I miss canoeing, rollercoasters, and especially I miss being able to do hard work without hearing, "Don't lift too much" or "Don't hurt that baby!" I promise, I am much more concerned about my baby than anyone else is. I won't overdo it but I'm not going to stand around either!
What I am looking forward to: the ultrasound in a couple of weeks
Weekly Wisdom: If you feel like you need a nap, just take it! I had some chores to do today but for some reason I was just wiped after this weekend. I finally forced myself to lay down and then once I woke up I was so refreshed, in a better mood, and obviously I still had time to do my chores!
Milestones: No real milestones, but almost in my 8th month!

July Goals

As listed here, I created goals for July that I wanted to accomplish. Let's see how I did...

  • $100 grocery budget - BUST! (By $9.00!)
  • 6 new recipes - CHECK!
  • 5 books read and out of the house - CHECK!
  • $10 sold on eBay - CHECK!
  • organize 300 coupons - CHECK!
  • make X amount of money - CHECK!
So now I need to create my goals for August.

My goals for August are pretty much the same as July.
  • $100 grocery budget
  • 6 new recipes
  • 5 books read and gone from the house
  • $10 worth of items sold on ebay
  • make X amount of money to go toward our savings
  • organize 500 coupons
  • clean out my sock drawer
I'm sure I will come across other things I need to do as I go along in the month, but for now these are my basic goals!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday, Sunday

Church was awesome this morning! As usual. While I am waiting for our chicken parmesan to cook, I figured I would put some pictures up.

Brianna loves this Baby. But that does not stop her from putting Baby in a pot. Let's hope she doesn't do this to the real baby in October...

"Twelve Dancing Princesses" - one of her new favorites. She will just lounge around reading this looooooong book:

"Excuse me, you're interrupting my reading, Mom!!"

A coworker of Stephen's and his wife stopped by the other night. I found out he loves blueberries so I ran out to our bushes to pick the first batch I have picked this year. I think this is probably close to a pint, and I was only out there 3-4 minutes! I need to remember to keep picking them.

Brianna smooches on her daddy:

Open-mouth, lots-of-tongue kissing going on here!

And another piece of news! Exactly two years ago today I blogged that Stephen had gotten a promotion at work. I am so thrilled and excited to tell you that he has reached another promotion!! Say hello to one of the youngest (if not the youngest) Master Sergeants on Pope Air Force Base! He works so hard and is an incredible shop chief, so I am really not surprised that he got this promotion.

It will be a while now before the next promotion comes around, but this is a huge blessing from God and I am so proud of Stephen! He definitely deserves it. I love you babe, congratulations!!